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Get an HTC Droid DNA smartphone for $49.99

Verizon charges $199.99 for this 5-inch knockout, which CNET called "the most awesome Droid ever." But you have to be a new Verizon customer to get that price.

Race-car red pinstripes help make the Droid DNA a serious looker.
Race-car red pinstripes help make the Droid DNA a serious looker. Wirefly

If there's one smartphone that looks like it could challenge the Samsung Galaxy S3's supremacy, it's the HTC Droid DNA.

CNET's Brian Bennett called it "the best phone I've seen from HTC in a long while, especially on Verizon," and a "better buy" than both the S3 and Motorola Droid Razr HD.

But the $199.99 Verizon charges for it (with a two-year contract, natch)? Ouch. Thankfully, there's a deal to be had: for a limited time, Wirefly has the HTC Droid DNA for $49.99 shipped. That's for new Verizon customers; existing customers looking to upgrade can get the phone for $99.99. Amazon charges $99.99 and $149.99, respectively.

Needless to say, you're still on the hook for two years' worth of service charges, which from Verizon will cost you a minimum of $80 per month. But that's true of pretty much every phone you buy from pretty much every major carrier. (Want to pay less? Look to a virtual operator like Solavei.) Consequently, you might as well get the lowest price you can on the phone itself.

And 50 bucks for a phone of the Droid DNA's caliber is mighty sweet, if you ask me. Among the standout features: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a quad-core processor, a 5-inch screen, a striking, Lamborghini-inspired design, and an 8-megapixel rear camera (which Bennett found to be "excellent").

Two big demerits, though: no memory card slot and no removable battery. Both are staples of Android phones, and among the reasons buyers choose them instead of iPhones. Et tu, HTC? Et tu?

If you can live with those shortcomings, this is a great deal on what's universally regarded on a killer smartphone. Hit the comments and let me know why you're going to snap this up -- or why you're not.

Now playing: Watch this: The incredible HTC Droid DNA